Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill released the following statement regarding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal of a $65 million plan to address algal blooms across New York state:
“I applaud Governor Cuomo’s leadership and investment in New York’s lakes, including Chautauqua Lake. His administration clearly recognizes that the health of Chautauqua Lake is critical to the health of our region’s economy.
“We are very pleased to see that this initiative convenes key stakeholders to collaborate with experts in finding solutions to harmful algal blooms that threaten the sustainability of our lakes. As further details unfold, Chautauqua Institution will eagerly and actively participate in the development and implementation of action plans for Chautauqua Lake.”
Chautauqua Institution has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in natural and constructed stormwater improvements that aim to reduce the flow of sediments, nitrogen and phosphorus that come from the soils in our watershed and flow into the lake, without the use of chemical herbicides. These improvements include rain gardens; semi-pervious pavement systems; catch basins; weirs in our creek beds; increased plantings of indigenous vegetation along waterways; additional tree plantings; “no mow zones”; and significant regulations regarding drainage and stormwater management on homeowner properties. Our own improvements have resulted in significant, measured reductions of phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into the lake from our waterways and outlets. Chautauqua Institution is actively involved in improvements and education to help stimulate these projects around the lake and will continue to do so.